Hey there! If you are looking to embed content into your virtual tour, you are in the right place!
With this cloudpano.com feature, you can embed videos, pictures, buy buttons, information PDFs, menus, entire websites right into your virtual tour. You can add anything into your VR experience. We even have users converting department stores into VR e-commerce experiences. The sky is the limit!
To learn “How To Embed Content Into A Virtual Tour” on cloudpano.com, watch the video below:
If you are looking to jump into the virtual tour business market
(and start making real money with your 360 camera) than this is the perfect
article for you.
I am going to walk you through step-by-step, how to start a profitable local virtual tour business with your 360 camera. Even if you have no experience, no portfolio or clients to reference. You can be successful. With a little bit of strategy and some hard work, you can become a virtual tour entrepreneur in a few weeks. Today I am going to show you exactly what to do, and how to reach your goals.
Turning Your 360 Camera Into A Revenue Machine
It is nice to have some extra money in the bank. Whether you
are looking to rack in some extra cash for your rent, or you own a digital
media company and want to add 30% revenue this year so you can scale (for the
advanced), this article will help you bring in consistent new leads every
single week into your business.
Here is what we are going to cover…
The 3 Pillars Of Your Virtual Tour Business
The Expert Provider Mindset
How To Determine What Is Really Important To Your Clients
How To Pick A Niche (Hint: Follow The Money)
How To Acquire Your First 30 Customers
How To Price Your Service
How To Deliver Quickly And Get Paid
How To Scale And Grow
The 3 Things You Need To Start A Virtual Tour Company
When you are starting your virtual tour business, there is
only 3 things you need. Hardware (360 camera and accessories),
virtual tour software you can private label (like CloudPano.com) and paying clients. This article is focused on creating consistent
paying clients into your business. Because without leads and clients, you won’t
have a business. No matter how fancy the camera or smooth the software. You need
more leads and more paying customers.
My name is Zach Calhoon the co-founder of CloudPano.com. A virtual
tour software to create, host and display 360 virtual tours that quickly bring
in consistent revenue into your business. We at CloudPano.com are focused on
helping the virtual tour entrepreneur. We built the software (and continue to
add features) to help you grow your local virtual tour business (like private labeling
and keeping your domain name). But its important to note, today’s article is
not software specific. You can use whichever software you please, and still
benefit and profit from these strategies.
So lets get started…
The Virtual Tour Entrepreneur – What It Really Takes
360 cameras and virtual tours are an rising incredible technology. But before we get off into the tools and tech. I want to discuss your approach to business and entrepreneurship. Because if you miss this aspect of business, you will struggle every single day. So please if you write down only one thing from this article, have it be this…
“Align With Your Clients Goals By Solving Their Pains and Problems”
Business is very simple. People have problems and pains that
are blocking them from reaching their goals. If you can help them
overcome those problems, or solve those pains, money will attract itself to
you. This is true in every business scenario. You will notice this trend with
successful entrepreneurs compared to the struggling newbie who never makes it.
If you focus your time and attention on understanding and solving your clients
needs, you will naturally and easily make money…. Compared to if you focus on your
tools, your tech, your experience, yourself…
you will struggle.
For example, read the example table below for the correct mindset as a service provider.
Tour Provider vs. Struggling Virtual Tour Provider
Real Estate Agent
I help you acquire large luxury listings and sell property faster
I shoot 360 tours of houses
Apartment Property Manager
I help you reach 97% occupancy sooner
I create 360 floorplans
College or University
Increase application rates guaranteed
I can photograph a virtual tour of your college
I help increase leads into your store front
I can place a virtual tour on google
I think you get it…
It’s a natural human instinct to focus on oneself. And you
are going to use this instinct to help you sell more virtual tours. But your
first step is to know your client’s goals… And remember don’t assume you know
their goals. Ask.
How To Reveal What’s Important To Your Clients (So you can align your value with their goals)
Here are some example questions you can ask a client to help
reveal their goals:
“How is business this year and how can it improve?”
This question helps you understand what they think about 80%
of their day. This will reveal pains and problems. Which you will solve (for a
fee). Plus the answers you receive should inspire your entrepreneur brain with
ideas. This is the process for framing your solution to solve their problems.
“What are your current objectives?” or “what is
the goal of your marketing?”
Based on their answer ask a deeper question: “What
would that mean for you individually?”
Script Example Niche: Property Manager Of A 300 Unit Apartment
You: “Hey I was wondering what your occupancy looks like and
how we can help? Where is it currently and what is the goal?”
Property manager: “Well we are at about 92% occupancy and
our goal is 97%”
Me: “O really your goal is not 100% Occupancy?”
Property manager: “If we hit 100% occupancy, then we need to
increase our prices!”
Me: “Haha! Well one way to raise your prices is to market
floorplans in 360 / Virtual Reality. Here is an example demo and even a VR
headset to play with…” (hands over CloudPano demo)
Property manager: “Now this is cool…”
Me: “Yep we specialize in making these for apartment complexes
and multi family luxury assets.”
Property manager: “How much does it cost?”
You see how I used their answer to pitch them on my service?
This approach builds massive rapport and trust with your prospective client. And
it works in every sales scenario, not only virtual tours.
This is how you charge high prices and build a business that
makes major impact and produces life change for you.
How To Pick a Niche
Now that you know exactly how to align yourself with your
clients needs (and have a sales conversation), you need pick one niche to target. The most
successful virtual tour providers start with one niche, then branch off after they have mastered their first
niche. I know what you are thinking “Zach, I can make virtual tours for anyone, why would I pick only one niche?”
Because you need to align your messaging and your pricing with your customers
needs. This will allow you to work on your marketing quickly and keep your
quotes clean. That is how you build a system that continues to produce income without
you constantly creating custom quotes for every request. And this approach will
help you later when you hire and scale. You need to think big!
When you make this list, you can start to get a feel for
your local market. I live in Houston Texas. So I have a huge market for almost
every category. Don’t try and go after everyone at once. But prepare you mind
for a consistent marketing strategy that is highly targeted. Then make sure to
focus on choosing a niche that pays well. A simple shift of focus can increase our
income by 4x. You should only spend a few days doing your research. Its ok to
guess on some numbers. Get a general idea and move forward to selling. If you
are not sure. Just pick one! You can always change later.
Presell Your Niche (On The Phone or In Person)
Start with you close network. Reach out to a few niches you have
access to. It can be through friends or your current network. Call them on the
phone and tell them what you are doing. Ask them similar questions about their problems. Then pitch them on coming to
location and creating a virtual tour. You will quickly hear the level of excitement
and possible objections. Mark down notes including their feedback. When you
make a connection with a niche who understands your service and grasp the value
quickly, good you are on track.
It is also important to write down a rough calculation of
the customers value. For example, if your chosen niche receives monthly
recurring revenue, then they are more likely to pay you monthly recurring
revenue for “hosting.” This increases the lifetime value of your customer and
makes them much more attractive to target.
For example, if you target local property management companies
with large apartment portfolios, you will have access to multi family money.
And if you position your service as a “Luxury Digital Media Company,” you will
be able to pitch larger clients. The math works in your favor when you target a
large customer. Yes, this will take some work and experience. But if you set
your targets high, you will be surprised how quickly you can gain traction.
My First Presale – How You Can Acquire Your First 30 Customers
This is a picture of
me pitching a room full of real estate agents
I have a confession, at this point in my journey I had zero customers, and no camera. I pitched the room on the
service, how it worked and what to expect. I had a single pano 360 demo (it wasn’t
even a working virtual tour). I handed out on my phone with the demo. I was
able to gauge a response right away. Then I handed out a simple signup sheet
that said “I want a 360 tour” and I offered a special discount “One time offer”
if you signed up today.
Guess what? 15 people signed up.
I still have a photo of that first signup sheet.
Its was amazing! I ran off to Best Buy and bought a 360 camera.
Called these people and started to shoot some tours.
You can do this too. If you think outside the box and start
to take action, you will quickly find folks to ‘raise their hand’ with interest.
Maybe its time to stop thinking about which camera to buy and start to pitch clients. When they say yes, your camera becomes paid for and your startup cost become tiny. Cool right!? Take some action today and see what happens.
How To Price Your 360 Virtual Tour Service
The number 1 question I receive from users on CloudPano.com,
is “How much do I charge?” Of course my answer is, it depends. I think the
answer depends on your market selection more than your experience.
Every time you market to a new client, expect to negotiate
on price. If the client is a referral (my favorite type) then do not give them any discount for their
first virtual tour. They will already have a level of trust from their contact.
Here is a sample pricing sheet we give out to our users:
Free Guide: Pricing Secrets Of 360 Virtual Tour Pros –Click Here
When you determine pricing, you can always start low and ramp
it up as you pitch more people. Try to deliver pricing in person or over the
phone. Watch their face and reaction. If they are totally fine with what you
say (no flinching), you should pick a higher price. If they freak out, you can
discuss a “discount” “if they refer you” to 2 more clients. Remember, if you are
having a pricing conversation, they want to buy. Ask for the sale, make sure to
follow up and always be closing.
How To Deliver Quickly And Get Paid
One of my favorite aspects about shooting virtual tours is
the speed of creation. You can photograph a 2000 square foot house in 15
minutes. And when you upload the files to CloudPano.com you can create a
virtual tour in less than 5 minutes. Send over a link to your client, followed
by an invoice and get paid fast. I have used Paypal for years to send out invoices
and receive payments. You can create a business account and quickly get users
to pay you (its free to create an account). Getting paid is so important, and
you don’t need to waste time calling people about money. Just click ‘send a reminder.’
And Paypal will send an email reminder to your clients. Also you can integrate
a papal link right on your website that accepts payments through your shopping
cart. Its easy to use and its free to sign up. And of course, if you can get
paid in advance!
How To Scale Your Virtual Tour Business
When you first start your local virtual tour business, you take over every role in the business. See example flow of a lead:
You are responsible for all the touch points for your service
delivery. This is totally normal. And you will feel this quickly when you start
to get lots of work and projects booked.
Your goal is to replace yourself from the equation. As the
company CEO, you will need to oversee each activity in your business. This way
you can focus on company growth. Here is how your business will look:
You are the CEO.
Take on the proper role as the business owner and CEO. This
will allow for you to optimize each step in your customers experience. When you
reach this level of optimization, you will find yourself thinking big and only participating
in the activities that you love.
Hiring Help – The Fast Way To Free Your
When I first started a virtual tour business, the first
thing I did was hire someone to help me shoot locations. He was a high school
kid named Patrick and he was home schooled (he had free time). He needed some
extra cash before he went off to college. He was easy to work with and I was
able to teach him the tech in one hour. It was the perfect fit. Having someone
you can source opens your schedule and allows you to accept more gigs and projects
as they come through the pipeline. Your future goal is to have 2 people on your
team to schedule at any time. As projects come in, you can book them to location.
How To Find Your First Hire
Your first hire will be a unique story. Here is mine (feel
free to copy)…
I saw a post on Next Door (the neighborhood app) where Patrick
was shooting drone photos. I called him up and asked him if wanted to help me
with my virtual tour start up. I trained him on location and started to send
him out without me.
If you are just started out, this may seem silly. But when
you have other established businesses (like me), time becomes your prized asset.
When you learn the workflow and understand the tech, all you need is someone to
take the photos for you. If they can press a button, they can create a virtual
tour. You can set up the systems (like CloudPano.com) and establish a client
network. Once you feel ready, hire your first young lad to help you (and pay
them hourly). You will quickly be able to focus on sales, marketing,
advertising and growth.
Removing yourself from photographing the virtual tours may
sound crazy or far away in your journey. Don’t think this way. You can quickly
convert your virtual tour business into an asset. And that is the level of
thinking we cultivate at CloudPano.com.
How To Get Started Today
The key to success is business is to take action. If you try
to learn every tool, camera, tech and software you will get lost and feel overwhelmed.
Just pick a niche and start selling. You may fall flat on your face. But you
will learn along the way. If you would like to find more sales minding entrepreneurs
and you are ready to take your virtual tour business to the next level, check
Here is a list of free resources to help you in your
Hey there! Here is some updates that we added to CloudPano (I am excited!).
Info Spots – Add custom information directly onto your tour.
This is great for commercial projects. As your clients ask you to highlight certain areas, you can easily add the information right onto the tour. We have a short and long form info spot option. Check out the custom modal when you add your info spot information.
2) Rotate Hot Spots
You can now rotate your hot spot to the left or right. This can add some smooth distinction between hot spots on your virtual tour.
3) New Hot Spot Styles
Select white, black or image crystal ball for your hot spots.
4) Dashboard Redesign
See your tours in a beautiful dashboard experience.
5) Clone Your Tours!
You can now duplicate your virtual tours with one click. Just click clone!
6) Auto Motion Navigation Detection
Check out the figure icon on the view. This allows you to toggle between touch navigation and motion navigation. And if your users has “motion navigation” turned off. Our software will detect this and default to touch navigation. Although this looks very simple, its actually a VERY cool update that makes you (a virtual tour creator) look very smart.
Get started creating virtual tours on CloudPano right now!
We are excited to announce that CloudPano and Insta360 are working together to make your virtual tour creation world class!
CloudPano.com is an official Insta360 virtual tour enterprise partner. This means we are working together to provide our users with hardware and software combinations to maximize your virtual tour success.
Hey there! Recently our co founder Zach Calhoon was featured on the Real Estate Podcast Shooting Spaces:
Rich and Brian are real estate photography pros. They ask detailed questions about 360 photos and virtual tours. The interview will take you from complete beginner, to a 360 expert.
Check out their podcast and make sure to give them a great rating on iTunes!
From Shooting Spaces Podcast:
“In this weeks episode we sit down and talk with Zach Calhoon. Zach is the co-founder of CloudPano. CloudPano is a new software for creating and displaying your 360º images into an interactive virtual tour. Brian had a chance to try out the software and the biggest features he enjoyed were the clean user-interface, ease of use and that the tours are VR headset ready. Brian bought a VR headset on Amazon for just under $65 and it works perfectly with CloudPano.
It’s so easy now to do 360º images and if you do want to make it as easy as possible, you can pick up a Ricoh Theta for $350 and you have your 360º ready to go in under 2 minutes. This is a great add-on service for your real estate photography clients with a very minimal investment.
You can see a sample tour Brian made with CloudPano for his nursing home client by clicking here.
Zach was also kind enough to offer all of our listeners a special promotion. To take advantage of the promotion, use the following link:
How to make more money with 360 / 3D virtual tours?
Isn’t this a question we should be asking?
In the world of 360 virtual tour software, 360 cameras, virtual reality and high tech real estate marketing… there is a lot to discuss.
And its fun to track the new tech as it flows through the industry. Changes happen fast and its exciting!
Lets take a moment and focus on profit. Because you (and everyone) need more clients, more jobs and more revenue. Revenue justifies the tech.
Case Study Interview: How To Up-Sell Your Way To an Extra $20,000
Today we are highlight a CloudPano.com Pro Plus user Mark McKinney out of Fort Worth/Dallas Texas(River Oak Media). He has taken his residential photography business and added 360 virtual tours as a sweet up-sell to his clients.
When he started to show 360 tour examples through CloudPano.com on mobile (movement responsive tours). His clients we shocked “Nobody else is doing this!”
This tech has led to him averaging 30% to 40% of all his jobs requesting 360 tours. And its helped him recast his vision toward the luxury market as he expands his service network. Its this type of technology that creates natural referrals and builds authority. Amazing!
In this interview we cover:
How to show your clients 360 tours for the first time.
How to price (to make the sale a “no brainier”).
How to capture the perfect 360 tour of a 2500 square foot home in 15 minutes.
How to get feedback and become a “teammate” of the entire real estate office.
How To Photograph a 3D / 360 Virtual Tour Of A Empty House
If you want to create a 360 virtual tour of a real estate property, you need to first create the 360 assets (take the pictures). There is lots of guides around the internet showing “How to create 3D tours…” with a variety of hardware and process steps.
Today we are going to keep it simple. Dead simple! Using the Insta 360 ONE X. Watch this video below and get started!
Ready to create your own 360 virtual tour on CloudPano.com? Get started free. Click here